Orion launch rescheduled for Friday

Orion launch rescheduled for Friday

NASA's Orion deep-spacecraft's first test flight has been delayed until Friday morning. Now there is very less time left with the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for resolving the last problem. The issue is with balky valves that load and drain the liquid-hydrogen fuel tanks on the Delta IV 'heavy' rocket.

The spacecraft was supposed to be launched at 7:05 am Eastern Standard Time and was scheduled to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off of Baja California at 11:29 pm, EST. The test flight is intended to take the craft on two orbits of Earth and the second one would take the Orion about 3,600 miles above Earth before starting reentry.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. said that the agency's Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs in the 1960s and 1970s took humans on moon for the first time.

Bolden also said that the US and its partners began learning to build and work with space-based infrastructure through shuttle and space station programs and these were essential to be serious about deep-space exploration. The spacecraft would be the first human-rated spacecraft to go ahead of low-Earth orbit in 42 years.

Mr. Bolden said a successful Orion launch would symbolize 'Day One, the beginning of the Mars era' for human spaceflight and that 'Day One' would arrive a bit later.

Everything was alright in the morning without any technical fault and it was somewhere expected that the launch would occur on time. Michael Hawes, who heads the Orion program at Lockheed Martin said the Orion parts were performing well. Lockheed Martin is constructing the craft.